Silicon Valley Youth Bridge

Summer Camp 2014


Monday, June 16, to Friday, June 20

45 youth aged 9 to 16
36 youth played in the tournament
11 youth earned their first ACBL Masterpoints

29 new ACBL members

30+ all-volunteer staff

Tournament - Results

Camp Pictures

Campers with Teachers and Table Mentors

newest playersNewer Players
inbetweensExperienced Players
experienced playersMost Experienced Players

Silicon Valley Youth Bridge (SiVY Bridge), with the cooperation of the Palo Alto Bridge Center, held its first week-long bridge camp for young players in June, 2014. The goal of the camp was to create an enjoyable and sociable atmosphere in which to introduce beginners to the challenge and excitement of playing bridge, and to give more experienced players intensive practice in advanced strategies.

The camp offered intensive instruction for 45 students, ranging in age from 9 to 16. Some participants had never played any card games, some had completed a series of SiVY bridge lessons at their schools, and others had some experience in duplicate events.

Teams of teachers and table mentors, under the leadership of Debbie Rosenberg, Randy Ryals, Kevin Rosenberg and Kevin Schoenfeld, offered training at appropriate levels for each group. All campers also had a chance to experiment with some of the useful tools provided for them by BridgeBaseOnline (BBO) which graciously offered the young campers access to most of the features of the BBO site at no charge. To allow campers to continue the fun of playing online with others they met at camp, their BBO accounts were set up to find all the other campers on the list of “BBO Friends”.

By the end of the week, even the least experienced campers had learned the basic rules of Contract Bridge and were enthusiastically taking tricks and bidding to their contracts. More experienced players gained greater confidence in executing advanced strategies in declarer play and defense. Most of the kids either became American Contract Bridge Leage (ACBL) members or extended their membership as part of camp.

The camp concluded with an optional pizza party and raffle, and a tournament. Happy raffle winners Teddy Huang, Jonathan Shi, Reese Toomre, Oliver Ye, and Leo Zhang chose their prizes from an assortment of bridge books and card games. Thirty Six campers played in our tournament.

Teachers and mentors expressed enthusiasm about the success of camp. Several said, “We had a great group of kids—smart, engaged, and a pleasure to know. We hope to see many of them again at future SiVY events.”

Whats Next?

All the campers are ready to participate in a beginner’s duplicate game. They will have an opportunity to test their skills a week after the camp ends.

Firecracker Tournament Youth Day
Saturday, June 28
Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara, CA

Youth pairs games at 10 AM and 3 PM

Youth under 26 play FREE.

Pizza Party between sessions, by invitation only. Be sure you are on our mailing list so you receive the evite for this event.

SiVY Bridge, and others, offer a variety of regular Events for youth players to have fun and keep learning.

What did campers and their parents think about camp?

Almost all the campers said they enjoyed camp “a lot”! Their favorite part of camp was “playing bridge.” Many said that making camp longer would be the best way to improve it.

One father observed that his son seemed a little hesitant about Bridge Camp after the first day, and suggested that the snack break should be longer so the campers could do other things outdoors during that time. By the second day, though, this camper seemed much more enthusiastic. In fact, on Wednesday he stayed until 6:30 playing with friends and mentors.

One mother said that both her sons were really enjoying camp and had learned a lot. She noticed especially that although her older son had more experience, her younger son was much better about following the accepted “form” for bridge—arranging the dummy in the proper order, placing the cards for each trick face up in the appropriate position, and properly aligning tricks won and lost. She attributed the difference to the early training her younger son received from SiVY Bridge teachers.

Our wonderful volunteers

Bridge Camp was an all-volunteer effort. In addition to the teachers and table mentors there were many other volunteers who worked tirelessly during the week. They handled daily checkin and checkout, demonstrated BBO online, provided snacks (those kids sure can eat), managed camp supplies and facilities, etc. If we needed something done there was always someone to do it.

To all our volunteers - Thank You. We couldn't have done it without you!

If you would like to join our group of dedicated volunteers